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Zeiss Ikon Ikonta B (521/16) 120 folding roll film camera, c1948

Zeiss Ikonta B, the B refers to the 6 x 6cm format used in this model. Developed from the earlier 520 model the 521 introduced double exposure prevention housed under the small chromed housing on top. Construction is a little unusual, a casual glance would lead you to suspect it was a cast body, with pressed steel front hatch. However it consists of a lightweight aluminium pressing riveted to a thinner steel liner to form the focal plane and film recesses, resulting in a stiff body. A single aluminium pressing forms the back with a riveted on hinge and satin chromed latch. Finish is conventional matt black painted inside with gloss enamel outside except where the man made covering is glued on. As aluminium will not take a chrome plate easily, the decorative chromed rules top and bottom are achieved by riveting on two chromed plates, which also add stiffness to the back in particular. It's a very clever and efficient method of construction, metal pressings are relatively simple and very fast to make in large quantities, the downside being that these components need to be assembled.

The date for this one poses a problem. The unmarked Compur shutter fitted is an earlier serial than I would expect, No. 1287906 would place it fairly close to our Ikonta C which checks out fine, our Icarette is earlier and the shutter serial seems appropriate. The most common date for the 521/16 published is 1948-53 amongst various publications and web sites and I am not about to contradict the likes of McKeowns. But something doesn't quite ring true. It's possible Zeiss had a stack of Compurs in a box and used them up, this shutter was definitely intended for this camera as a number of specific details have to be incorporated, like the thumb wheel adjusted aperture. However it looks like the shutter may have been made 16 years and a World War before the camera. The shutter has neither the 500th speed of the Compur Rapid nor the flash synch' socket. So, in the absence of anything else, I am considering it an early production Ikonta 521/16 using up some pre war parts. If anyone knows different - I'd be delighted to hear from you.

This example was donated in November 2011 by Dennis Gittings. Although in rather poor condition it was saved went through the workshop in January 2012.

Zeiss Ikon Ikonta B (521/16) 120 folding roll film camera

Body No. E95502 (the serial is hidden beneath the aperture scale on this example)
Shutter, Compur Serial 1287906, Speeds B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 300th
Lens, Novar 75mm f/3.6
Condition, 6F

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